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No passing of power: New Constitutional amendment requires an election if president leaves office

Victoria, Seychelles | March 7, 2017, Tuesday @ 15:25 in National » GENERAL | By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4911
No passing of power: New Constitutional amendment requires an election if president leaves office

The Seychelles President Danny Faure chaired the extraordinary meeting with the cabinet (Louis Toussaint, Seychelles Nation)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles' Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would require new elections if the island nation's President dies, resigns or is removed from office, a communiqué from State house said.

In an extraordinary meeting chaired by the country’s head of state Danny Faure, the cabinet on Monday agreed to the amendment that in the event that the post of President becomes prematurely vacant, the Vice President would assume the Presidency until an election is held.

According to Attorney-General Ronny Govinden, an election should be carried out within 90 days.

Article 51 of Seychelles’ Constitution says that the island nation's Vice President assumes power in the event of the President’s death, resignation or removal from office. But the Constitution previously did not say that new elections must be held, a point that has been challenged on several occasions by the opposition parties as it had allowed two of the island nation’s former presidents to hand-over power.

In 2004 President France-Albert Rene retired and handed over power to his Vice President, James Michel, while  in October last year Michel stepped down and handed over power to Faure.

In the first meeting between Faure and the opposition parties in October 2016, it was agreed that this constitutional provision would be amended so that there will be no more transfers of power. The two sides had agreed that the necessary Constitutional amendment should be undertaken by March.

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Tags: Cabinet of Ministers, Seychelles’ Constitution, Attorney-General

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